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Create a Nutritional General Store in Your Health Club

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Health Clubs have the unique opportunity to provide their members total fitness and wellness by offering them a safe haven of healthy nutritional options.

It is widely recognized that members come to health clubs to live healthy, active lives. Providing fitness classes, state-of-the- art equipment, and knowledgeable trainers and staff serve to help members get their bodies in a better state of health. However, with the focus on exercise, we often forget about nutrition.

Nutrition is at least half the battle; yet most folks get it dead wrong. Why? It’s really quite simple; there is so much misinformation out there that people do not know what to believe and they become frustrated and give up. Your Nutritional General Store can simplify the message and facilitate the foods that your members will need to achieve.

It is my experience that health clubs can benefit greatly by adding a Nutritional General Store to their club. Members are already coming to the club to seek nutritional advice and they are spending money on the recommendations made, so why not offer your members healthy food choices; i.e. healthy grab-and-go snacks, natural meal replacements and of course, “Recovery Shakes.”

How to Create a Nutritional General Store

If you are ready to get started in providing your members easy access to healthy food choices, a Nutritional General Store is the natural choice and is easier to set up than you think.
First, understand your demographics and then choose products that fit their needs. Generally speaking, offering a wide range of choices within those demographics is easy; these should include protein, daily supplements, healthy grab-and-go snacks, and convenient breakfast items such as oatmeal, muffins, coffee and tea and much more. This can be done by adding a few shelves with retail cards explaining the benefits and proper timing for each product on the shelf.
If you do not have a space to retail or a Juice Bar, consider adding a space. Juice Bars can be a major profit center for the club and can be added to a space as small as 100 square feet. The other option is to look into a Juice Bar Cart that you can roll out to a popular spot in the club with a side unit that holds all your supplements and snacks for sale.

Stocking Your Store
The health foods industry is really taking off and the reason for this is because consumers are reading labels and educating themselves on the foods they put in their bodies. They are willing to pay a higher price, as long as they believe in the products nutritional profile. As a result, when you think about stocking your Nutritional General Store, it is very important to bring in nutrient-dense products that meet strict standards of health. This means, the label should not have any artificial additives, synthetic sweeteners or preservatives.

Don’t Forget Education
Don’t stop at simply stocking the shelves, now you need to educate your members on the timing of when each product should be consumed. If we can educate people to begin eating sensibly and at the right times, they are bound to break their plateaus and obtain their performance goals faster than they ever imagined. Get your customer to understand this, and you will have that customer for life. Your space should turn into a place where your members can depend on accessing not only healthy food products but dependable information too.

Select the Right Provider
There are many companies out there that can facilitate the process of delivering great food products to your members. Be careful though when selecting the right company for your health club. They need to provide products with great nutritional profiles as well as merchandising, and the ongoing nutritional information that is going to support the products and educate your members.
Remember, you already have an interested customer that is concerned about taking care of their body, if not they wouldn’t be there. So create your Nutritional General Store within your Juice Bar and serve them the products they need after their workouts and through the day to reach total fitness and wellness.

Dan Young is President of Performance Food Centers, Corp. He is accomplished in Juice Bar concept and design as well as being certified in Personal Training and Sports Nutrition. He can be contacted at 1.888.PFC.9151, or visit www.performancefoodcenters.com.

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